Female clergy march on Downing Street

Female clergy march on Downing Street

By staff writers
13 Jan 2005

Female clergy march on Downing Street

-13/01/05

Hundreds of female clergy from England and Wales will today join Dawn French to deliver a white band card at No 10 Downing Street to show their support for the Make Poverty History campaign.

Richard Curtis, co-founder of Comic Relief and writer and executive producer of Vicar of Dibley said; "Geraldine would have been 20 at the time of Live Aid - and so it seemed a very apt idea for an episode of Vicar of Dibley to centre around her trying to mark the anniversary of a day which changed her world.

"I believe she'd still be totally up in arms about the horrific statistics 20 years on - one child dying every 3 seconds, unnecessarily, of the results of extreme poverty.

"Make Poverty History is a real life campaign that is asking the UK public to send a white band message to the government urging them to make changes around debt, trade and aid that keep poor countries poor."

Donning their dog collars and the campaignís global symbol ñ a white band, the women will meet at St Martin in the Fields (Trafalgar Square) where they will be welcomed by Dawn French and will hold prayers for the victims of the Asian Tsunami which has left more than 150,000 people dead and many millions homeless.

The Tsunami disaster in Asia has exposed the vulnerability of poor people across the world and the Make Poverty History campaign highlights the hidden disaster of abject poverty that kills 30,000 children every day.

The campaign brings together around 150 charities, unions and faith groups to challenge Tony Blair and other world leaders to deliver trade justice, debt cancellation and more and better aid for the worldís poorest countries.

Martin Drewry of Christian Aid said: ìThe churches have been the backbone of virtually every major campaign against mass poverty over the last eight years or so. This visit to Downing Street is designed to show just how strongly the clergy feel that the millions of people who live in poverty every day should have a chance to improve their lives.î

Nelsonís Column in Trafalgar Square will be dressed in a giant white band where the ladies will pose for a photocall before making their way down Whitehall towards Downing Street.

A delegation of ten women, including Dawn French, will then hand the card into Downing Street for the attention of Tony Blair.

Members of the public wishing to support this year-long campaign or get a white band, should sign on at MakePovertyHistory.org People can also make their voices heard and exert pressure on Tony Blair and the UK government by sending a white band message, by text, email or post, calling on the government to reverse the injustice of poverty in 2005.

"In the aftermath of the terrible events of Boxing Day, we have been reminded that human beings suffer, regardless of ethnic origin or religion,î Lucy Winkett, Canon of St Paulís Cathedral said.

ìTo gather as Christians for a campaign such as "Make Poverty History" is to affirm that God is somehow present even in the long-term poverty that goes unreported in the media. We find in our determination to eradicate poverty, that we are brought together as human beings across all boundaries."

The Rev Alison Tomlin, a Methodist minister and Chair of the Oxford and Leicester District, added; ìthis has been an issue for me since before the Drop the Debt campaign. People are dying every day because we are not treating developing nations fairly. The British Government has a golden opportunity to do something about this. We are pleased that Gordon Brown has already mentioned debt relief in relation to the devastating Asian tsunami, and we hope that this profound concern will extend to the rest of the world's poor during the whole of this year.î

Hundreds of female clergy from England and Wales will today join Dawn French to deliver a white band card at No 10 Downing Street to show their support for the Make Poverty History campaign.

Richard Curtis, co-founder of Comic Relief and writer and executive producer of Vicar of Dibley said; "Geraldine would have been 20 at the time of Live Aid - and so it seemed a very apt idea for an episode of Vicar of Dibley to centre around her trying to mark the anniversary of a day which changed her world.

"I believe she'd still be totally up in arms about the horrific statistics 20 years on - one child dying every 3 seconds, unnecessarily, of the results of extreme poverty.

"Make Poverty History is a real life campaign that is asking the UK public to send a white band message to the government urging them to make changes around debt, trade and aid that keep poor countries poor."

Donning their dog collars and the campaignís global symbol ñ a white band, the women will meet at St Martin in the Fields (Trafalgar Square) where they will be welcomed by Dawn French and will hold prayers for the victims of the Asian Tsunami which has left more than 150,000 people dead and many millions homeless.

The Tsunami disaster in Asia has exposed the vulnerability of poor people across the world and the Make Poverty History campaign highlights the hidden disaster of abject poverty that kills 30,000 children every day.

The campaign brings together around 150 charities, unions and faith groups to challenge Tony Blair and other world leaders to deliver trade justice, debt cancellation and more and better aid for the worldís poorest countries.

Martin Drewry of Christian Aid said: ìThe churches have been the backbone of virtually every major campaign against mass poverty over the last eight years or so. This visit to Downing Street is designed to show just how strongly the clergy feel that the millions of people who live in poverty every day should have a chance to improve their lives.î

Nelsonís Column in Trafalgar Square will be dressed in a giant white band where the ladies will pose for a photocall before making their way down Whitehall towards Downing Street.

A delegation of ten women, including Dawn French, will then hand the card into Downing Street for the attention of Tony Blair.

Members of the public wishing to support this year-long campaign or get a white band, should sign on at MakePovertyHistory.org People can also make their voices heard and exert pressure on Tony Blair and the UK government by sending a white band message, by text, email or post, calling on the government to reverse the injustice of poverty in 2005.

"In the aftermath of the terrible events of Boxing Day, we have been reminded that human beings suffer, regardless of ethnic origin or religion,î Lucy Winkett, Canon of St Paulís Cathedral said.

ìTo gather as Christians for a campaign such as "Make Poverty History" is to affirm that God is somehow present even in the long-term poverty that goes unreported in the media. We find in our determination to eradicate poverty, that we are brought together as human beings across all boundaries."

The Rev Alison Tomlin, a Methodist minister and Chair of the Oxford and Leicester District, added; ìthis has been an issue for me since before the Drop the Debt campaign. People are dying every day because we are not treating developing nations fairly. The British Government has a golden opportunity to do something about this. We are pleased that Gordon Brown has already mentioned debt relief in relation to the devastating Asian tsunami, and we hope that this profound concern will extend to the rest of the world's poor during the whole of this year.î

Keywords: alison tomlin
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